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What causes recurring brown spots on the callouses of the fingers?

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Posted on Sat, 14 May 2016
Question: small 1 millimeter or less size dark brown dots on the callouses of my middle and ring finger that seem to progress thru cyclical stages where they go from dark dots to tiny clear fluid filled blisters then pop and dry out then back to dark spots again. this takes a period of about two or three months for them to cycle thru a full profession.
I've had them for years and can't get rid of them. I do not shake hands with people much for fear of giving it to them, etc.
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Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert (19 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Herpetic whitlow

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns

You are concerned about blisters that are forming on your fingers that burst and then followed by a dark callus like skin in the same area. This sounds like yo have a herpetic whitlow. What this is, is herpes type 1 infected on your finger. This is the cold sore herpes forming on the fingers. It is very common and not dangerous. It can be transmitted when you are having the blisters and they pop. You can treat the area with taking a daily dose of antiviral medication like acyclovir. This is used for suppression therapy for herpes 1 and 2.

In summary
1. Herpetic whitlow
2. Herpes Type 1 on the fingers
3. Treat with acyclovir

I hope I answered your question. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ronald Schubert (15 minutes later)
how long do I have to take the acyclovir and what precautions should I take to not spread it during casual and intimate contact?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
acyclovir treatment

Detailed Answer:
For the acyclovir treatment to work you have to take it everyday. This is suppressive therapy and requires daily treatment for the rest of your life if you want to reduce outbreaks.

The outbreaks that do occur will be infectious only during the blister phase. When the area is healed there is no risk of infection. The rate of transmitting the herpes to another person from a herpetic whitlow is very low.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ronald Schubert

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 2407 Questions

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What causes recurring brown spots on the callouses of the fingers?

Brief Answer: Herpetic whitlow Detailed Answer: Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns You are concerned about blisters that are forming on your fingers that burst and then followed by a dark callus like skin in the same area. This sounds like yo have a herpetic whitlow. What this is, is herpes type 1 infected on your finger. This is the cold sore herpes forming on the fingers. It is very common and not dangerous. It can be transmitted when you are having the blisters and they pop. You can treat the area with taking a daily dose of antiviral medication like acyclovir. This is used for suppression therapy for herpes 1 and 2. In summary 1. Herpetic whitlow 2. Herpes Type 1 on the fingers 3. Treat with acyclovir I hope I answered your question. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions